Efforts by supporters of Republican presidential contender Ron Paul to organize a large pre-convention festival at the Florida State Fairgrounds are being stymied by the calculated refusal of the Republican National Committee to release an unused venue that it had previously reserved. By delaying the release as long as possible, despite the fact that the RNC has no plans to use the venue, it appears that the Republican leadership is hoping to deny conference organizers with sufficient time to plan the event. Their political calculation threatens to squelch diversity within the Republican party and deny the Tampa Bay region the economic benefit of a multi-day festival planned for up to 100,000 enthusiastic attendees. Supporters from across the country are expected to arrive via Ronvoys (Ron Paul convoys)..
The Paul Festival, which is planned as a music festival dedicated to the idea of personal liberty, is currently scheduled for August 24-26th, just prior to the start of the GOP convention on the 27th. According to Deborah Robinet, an organizer from San Diego, CA, the festival is intended to showcase the diversity that finds unity in the message of freedom. Organizers have already received commitments from major celebrity speakers and top-tier musical talent. However, unless the RNC quickly releases the venue, which is just 10 miles from the site of the Republican National Convention, the event may not be able to go forward.
"With the local community potentially facing significant loss of revenues should Paul Festival efforts continue to be blocked," notes Robinet, "many have serious concerns about the RNC's delay in confirmation." Robinet continues, "However, with so many expected attendees and the potential economic opportunity for the Florida community, it is difficult to see why the RNC would not release the venue in a timely manner."
Although it is typical for a major convention to reserve secondary venues when its preliminary plans are being formulated, it is also customary for those venues to be released when no plans arise to utilize them. This has been the case for venues such as the Channel Side Bay Mall, which has already been cleared for use by the Sarah Palin PAC, according to ABC News. As the RNC has to date offered no indication that it plans to utilize the Florida State Fairgrounds, it should now release the venue for other customers. Rep. Paul filled stadiums nationwide throughout the Republican Primary season.
Additional details about Paul Festival can be found at www.PaulFestival.org. Tickets and merchandise are expected to go on sale shortly. Congressman Paul, as well as many other prominent Republicans, will be invited to attend the event. Nationally known music headliners and guest speakers are expected to be announced in the days to come
Monday, June 4, 2012
UPDATE on RNC Refusal to Release Unused Fairgrounds for Planned Multi-Day Ron Paul Festival
The Paul Festival organizers have issued the following press release: